Sunday, August 28, 2016

All Right...Last Post here...TDGH is Closed


http://faithandtheunreasonable.blogspot.com/

I am reopening The Daily Ground Hog for reference purposes. If you need to hold me accountable or point out my paranoia or how I hurt you, it will now be possible. Comments will be available for your trolling pleasure. I will not be checking this blog very often as there is a new one. The link for the new one is below. If you really want to know what I was thinking in a particular post, then please email me at:

groundhog001@gmail.com

As you read the closing posts of the blog, please do not misconstrue my thoughts / feelings as final. They are not. I am currently going through a spiritual evolution / revolution right now. It's been rough and will probably continue for awhile. Please be patient with me. Right now I am an unfinished portrait.

If you find that I have offended you, well, a number of things are possible. I may just have hit a truth that hit you square between the eyes...I occasionally hit the target. If I was just being mean, nasty, sarcastic and judgemental, then I apologize. I am often of two minds about things and this will probably continue.

If you find you want more, you will need to go here:   http://faithandtheunreasonable.blogspot.com/

Again, I am a bit of a loose cannon. If you are easily offended or uninitiated in my ways, then perhaps you should avoid it like the plague. Your experience here should have been enough to tell you that.

Anyway, I probably love you or still love you even though I do not act like it sometimes. Please come by the new place and have a look. You will be welcome. The Teacher awaits your arrival. You will not need a hall pass if you're late. Just check in. Later...TDGH

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Dark Side

In "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" there is a scene that takes place aboard the death star between Luke, Darth Vader and the Emperor. Darth has taken his son, Luke, to the Emperor in an effort to convert him to the dark side. It's a scene packed with emotion that I think is lost on many because of the bad acting, the special effects and the movie music.

Luke absolutely hates the dark side of the force. He hates the Empire. He hates the knowledge that his father is Darth Vader, arguably the most evil man in the universe with the exception of the Emperor himself. He wants no part of it, but he also feels compassion for his father amidst all the evil that he has perpetrated and he wants to try and save him, to reignite the dead love in Darth's hearts.

After a light saber (I still want one) duel with his father, where in a rage of anger and hate, he hacks off his father's bionic arm, Luke stands before the Emperor. He is encouraged to embrace the dark side of the force. Feel the hate. Feel the power. And then....then...replace his father at the Emperor's side. All of this is said as Darth is standing by, his saber bearing arm stub still smoldering from the heat of Luke's blade.

In a moment of power and strength of character, Luke bends like a reed. He drops his saber to the floor, looks at the Emperor and says he will never join the dark side - that He is a Jedi like his father before him.

The enraged Emperor then informs the young Jedi that he will die. There is intense, lighting bolt like energy emitted from the Emperor's fingers. It appears that Luke will will die a slow agonizing electrical death. After an eternity of shock therapy is administered to his son, Anakin Skywalker awakens and destroys the Emperor.     

The universe is saved, Darth is saved, Luke is saved. Evil dies. Goodness and love prevail.

Oh that real life was like this. It would be so awesome. But, you know what? It's not.

Evil and good seem to coexist and while there are times that we feel or witness one or the other winning, they both have their days. They both bring advantage and sacrifice. They can both bring pain and pleasure.

I'm kind of tired of both of them. I just want to let them fight it out and continue to do what I'm doing, but usually one or the other, good or evil, will drag you out and force you to dance. So just let me say this.

While I regret ever having left Tatooine, I will never join the dark side.

Like my father and grandfather before me, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Feel the power of that and turn with me now toward Him. From everlasting to everlasting He is GOD.  


Retrospect

I wanna go back. I am going to try. I cannot deal with the freedom. I absolutely hate it. You know what I'm talking bout right?

It has not even been a year since I decided to let some light into my closet and all I can think about is that I want things to go back to the way they were. After some reflection, I have come to the conclusion that I was better off inside than out. I was better behaved, I was more careful about the things that I wrote, I was less offensive to my brothers and sisters and in some ways, I was more submitted to God. This last one is a big deal. Coming out can be good for some, but for people like me, it just exposes all the other problems that were also in the closet and lets them out to run around for everyone to see.

So I am going back. I am going back to teaching my little class at church, to not bothering anyone else, to going to work every day and taking care of Dad. I will never again discuss the subject. I'm sure I will be able to ignore the elephant in the room again. I did it well for decades.

I have been told that once you're out, you cannot go back. Piffle. I know I can and I will.

I do not like the new Jeff Brady. He is a monster. He has no class. He likes to look under rocks. He's disgusting, mean spirited, uncompassionate and remorseless. He can't leave anything alone without a full investigation. He was better off when he kept everything to himself. He was safer and so was everyone else. Bring the shackles, lock him up and close the door.

Done.

Thanks Lord. It was a bad idea. I should have consulted you more last September and others less. How I allowed myself to be so mislead is beyond me. I am seldom that stupid. I guess I'm getting old and soft headed.

I think I need a vacation. I need to be invisible again. Nothing is more transparent than that.     

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Confessions

When I worked in Cedar Rapids, there was a driver that, when confronted with his performance issues, would say to me, "sorry, your what hurts?" I think it was his way of saying that I seemed to be on the rag.

There are days when I do want to lash out at certain people and I look for reasons to do so. I would like to think I never did that at work. I know I have done it in my personal life. To all of you, I apologize. I repent. I am sorry for separating you from the herd for special treatment. It's cruel and unconscionable. I am without excuse.

Others of you get silence, even when you try to engender conversation. Again, I am sorry. Please be content knowing that I kept my mouth shut. It's not that I don't like you. I probably don't even know you. This usually happens when there is just something about you that I just can't deal with. The problem is mine and not yours (of course).

Forcing the issue has worked for some, but what usually happens is that you will end up in the first camp so you might want to leave it alone.

It all has to do with a mixed bag of mostly pride, judgementalism and insecurity. I am not sure how I got to that last one with the first two, but they do all seem to work together to defeat any civility that I might display. Again, I apologize. I can only hope that the Lord fixes me before death.
____________________________

My mind and spirit are just not right. I found myself wishing today for more misery on someone that was already struggling. I felt no pity for this individual. I just glared at him. I'm always wanting to share my pain with others, so why do I act this way? I just want to complete his misery for him. You would never know that I had been in church today or communed with Jesus. This kind of thing just comes outta the blue with me. Suddenly I am hateful and angry and I have no place to dump it. Thankfully, I did not share my wishes with the individual. Of course I didn't. I do not talk to him.

____________________________

On a higher note, I did have a relaxing talk with an old friend this morning. It was an opportunity to spill some of my lesser ailments. Purging helps make the stuff above go away. I become tolerant and tolerable for awhile. Enough so that I feel guilty about the above behaviors. It gives me hope that one day I will be a real human being and not such a dick.

But I digress.          

I think I need to get back into the Word more deeply. I seem to be better behaved when I have a class to teach. I think it's because I quit focusing on myself as much. This may be the ultimate cure to what ails me. Maybe I need to volunteer full time at an AIDS clinic or something; learn a little sympathy and empathy and service and humanity. Can those things be learned? It might be a stretch for me.

So far, my Sunday has sucked. Quite a turn around from last week. Tomorrow I will be able to bury myself in work. Very little of any of this had to do with church. It's just me. Give me a few minutes. I'm sure it will change into something else.

Note to self....work on stability.

How is your day going?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ruadh Gu Brath

Ya, that would be Gaelic for "Redheads Forever".

We are the rarest human beings on earth, averaging 2% of the planet's population. The only thing more rare than a redhead is a redhead with blue eyes. Red haired, blue eyed humans constitute about 1% of world population. It takes two recessive genes from two parents to create a red haired, blue eyed child. Most red heads have brown or green gray eyes.

But wait, there's more....

In an effort to figure out what is up with me - I'm kind of a headcase - I know you didn't notice - and if you did, thanks for not saying anything - I have been researching my gene pool to see if I am a biological mess or a just an environmental one. Turns out, the genetic markers for red heads can create a propensity for passion and drama that most never have to endure. Environment only adds to the mix and might be the match that ignites the red headed fires.

And so, inwardly, I burn with one thing or another all the time. Ain't that a bitch! So I write...Here are some facts.

1. Redheads are physically more sensitive to cold and heat. We are more sensitive to physical pain and pleasure. It takes 20% more anesthetic to put a red head below the pain threshold during surgery.

2. Redheads are more sensitive emotionally. We feel the pain and pleasure of relationships more intensely. All the emotions are magnified, sometimes in detrimental ways and sometimes for the good. When we are happy, we are exuberant. When we are sad, we weep and wail. And when we are pissed off, well...let's just say you will know you have a problem.

Less relevant facts...

3. We are more prone to Parkinson's disease.
4. We are more likely to be left handed.
5. We produce our own vitamin D.
6. We are prone to melanoma.
7. We do not go gray with age. Instead, we go from red to faded copper to a rosy gold and then gradually to white.
8. We have less hair than others, but each strand is thicker.
9. Red hair is notoriously difficult to dye, and why would anyone try? (Dude, you're a redhead. You share in the glory of God with Adam and David. Leave it alone.)  
10. We are funnier, angrier, happier, sadder, more sarcastic and sardonic and ironic than others. We are humans like you, but more so. 

Whatever. My personal experience as a redhead is one of repression, vile discrimination, harassment and cruelty. Because we stand out in life at every age, people are envious of us. The world's need for uniformity and conformity and redheadedness do not go together. The result is always conflict. We are misunderstood because we can be emotional and this gets magnified when people refuse to take us seriously or dismiss us. It happens. When it happens, be prepared. Wrath has red hair.

So am I upset about my gene pool? Am I ashamed of being a redheaded, blue eyed, SSA male?

I used to be.

Now? Not so much.

By the grace of God, I am not just saved,  I am one of the most unique human beings on the face of the earth.

The rest of you are just dullards.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Unfinished Business

Relationship and and even friendship are weird things for me. I know many of you, even most of you do those things well and with an ease and confidence that comes from years of healthy interaction with others. Not so with me. It's work for me and I think that because I am work for others. It takes two people to create a relationship or friendship. It requires sharing commonality and difference. It takes patience and endurance. No one is the friend you want them to be and this is probably good because friendship would be so boring without some drama and some displeasure.

With all that said, I believe it is really hard for others to be my friend. I am a weird mix of personality bends and turns that you do not often see in one human being. I am loyal, I can love, I can help. I have been dependable in the few actual relationships I have had. But I am also opinionated, a bit stiff from time to time, somewhat withdrawn even now and sometimes I can just be an outright bitch to people I love as well as others I do not even know.

There have been the few and the brave willing to endure that because they saw something in me that was worth loving and coming to know. If I had an award I could grant, I would give it to you all. I need y'all and I do not know what I would do without you. Many of you have been with me steadily since I started my journey toward becoming a real boy (to quote Pinocchio). At 59 it's a bit late for that, but I needed to get it over with before I died.

In that journey, I have hurt many people that have tried to be my friend. I apparently did that a couple of weeks ago again for the umpteenth time. She had all she could stand and so she walked. For what it's worth, I am OK with that. I understand. Though we have known each other for decades, I am, really an acquired taste that sometimes one will develop a distaste for over time. So be it. I wish her well in all her endeavors. We have a history together that few others would appreciate. I am sure she will always remember it even if it's an angry recollection. I still love her, but I believe it's best we be apart. For now. 

There are others I have hurt right out of the box from our first brief introductory moments. I can think of one young man in particular that pursued me for friendship that I rebuffed several times. The last time we encountered each other one on one, I just walked away. That was maybe three years ago. The place was a public restroom and we were the only ones present. My experience in such places is that men do not talk to each other. He talked to me. Not a crime, but not ordinary public restroom behavior either from my perspective.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I have been 'hit on' more than a few times in such places and I was a bit scared and bewildered. Aside from the fact that I do not make friends easily, I made the assumption that this was what was happening. Again, in my defense, I was scared and bewildered.  I had what I thought were legitimate reasons at the time for walking away. I will not go further with that except to say, that I no longer believe in the legitimacy of those reasons. I do not now believe there was any vile intention. I wish I could fix this. I probably can. We see each other once a week at the same place, though I am sure he is loathe to admit my presence. I am not sure he wants to repair things at this point. Who could blame him? I might yet try. If I get stepped on, I probably have it coming right? If I'm going to be a real, live human being, that's gonna happen, even when it's not my fault. I will just have to deal with the outcome. I am not sure how to do this. Should it be public or private? I don't know. I do know it should not be in the restroom.

I guess my sense of humor is still intact.

There are all kinds of things I could blame my bad behavior on including being a red headed, only child, closet case for decades, but really, it comes down to one thing. I do not love unconditionally as Jesus does. I tend to judge. I assume certain behaviors translate to bad intent. Sometimes that is actually true. Most of the time it is not.  I am always looking at motivations behind actions, especially when people are trying to befriend me.

You know what? Sometimes people don't want anything except to get to know me. Why am I so amazed by that? It might be that I bore myself and I can't imagine why anyone would be interested in that. Whatever. 

My mind is a weird place. I am always on the edge in there because of all the fighting that goes on. It's a wonder my brain is not worn out. It's never quiet in there, even when I am asleep. Last night I dreamed again that raccoons were nibbling me to death. What is that about? I don't know. 

So there it is. Bear with me as I move forward in my life experiment in becoming a human being.


Enough. The deceased equine has been thoroughly assaulted. I am outta here.  
 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Restlessness

"The antidote to restlessness is desperation for God."

My Sunday school teacher tried to explain this to me, but I was not listening. I wanted to reject the simplicity of it so that I did not have to make an application to my life. I said, "so what are you saying? That I don't love God enough?"

I found all kinds of reasons to reject this statement. I mean even Jesus was restless to the point of sweating blood in Gethsemane and no one is closer to God than Jesus right? They are one.

Even so, it has been going through my mind daily, like someone was yelling it at me. I think Someone was yelling it at me. 

I think I know what this means now, at least to me. Karla might tell me I'm wrong again. She is so brave. No one tells me I am wrong :^) I love you dear. I hope you made it to Boston safely. I need you in my life. Odd. You've been there all along. I guess you feel safer now that you know you don't have to marry me. Yes, I laughed out loud right here in Caribou as I typed that.

But I digress

Restlessness IS desperation for God. 

Yes. We seldom see it that way, even us who believe, but that is exactly what it is. We need Him so much all the time, in us, with us and around us, but it's like we ignore Him and move on to whatever because we are restless.

I have been restless. I am currently in that state. I wander around looking for the next thing when I have my Father in heaven who should be the first thing and last thing in my life all the time. He has set me free and put me to service so I should get back to serving.

I would ask, Lord, that you help me to hear You. Show me where to go. I am sometimes so wrapped up in what's going on in my head that I do not see what I should really be doing for you. Make me your hands and your feet. I am ready for an adventure. I will probably still be restless, but it might just be the coffee. I know I will be seeing You in a short time. I want that to be good for both of us. Maybe you can cure me of my spiritual ADHD before I get there. I know I have said this before and even though I know you are here and that you are in my body, I miss You. I am reminded of that curtain in the temple between You and Your priests. I know You are there, that You are just on the other side, that I can talk to You and even feel Your Presence; but I want to see You. I should fear that as a man in a physical body, but for some reason, it seems right that I should be able to walk with my Maker as I have with my earthly parents. Will that day come? Probably not here, but somewhere right?  Until then Lord...Until then. I love You.     

Thanks John and Dawn

I would like to thank my new friends, John and Dawn, for inviting me to lunch yesterday. It was nice to sit down and talk and also meet your family. We should go out next time. I will buy. Yes, I am too lazy to cook for all of you.

Christian friends with the love of God in their hearts and the grace of Jesus in the work of their hands are the best kind of friends. Thanks so much for your hospitality. Us old guys don't get out much so I appreciate it more than you know.

God is in the process of prying open my soul right now. What His purpose may be is anyone's guess. You may not realize it, but you helped Him with that effort. Y'all are good people. See ya at church.